On February 16, 2018, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI heads made a public pronouncement that a grand jury had granted the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III indictments against 13 Russian nationals and Russian entities for their part in meddling in an unprecedented away in the US 2016 presidential elections. The 37 page set of indictments is so detailed, to where it leaves no doubt that Russia did indeed interfere in our elections’ process with the intent to sow chaos and discord among the American peoples and to effect the outcome.
The Internet Research Agency, as a Russian agency was one if the entities singled out for an indictment. There have been details about this Russian company being reported back in 2016 by news media outlets like the Guardian.
ILLUSTRATION BY JOE MAGEEHere is the rest of the story…
On November 6, 2016, Leo Benedictus of the Guardian penned the following report, “Invasion of the troll armies: from Russian Trump supporters to Turkish state stooges”
“Long before Donald Trump met Twitter, Russia was famous for its troll factories – outside Russia, anyway. Allegations of covert propagandists invading chatroomsgo back as far as 2003, and in 2012 the Kremlin-backed youth movement Nashi was revealed to be paying people to comment on blogs. However most of what we know now comes from a series of leaks in 2013 and 2014, most concerning a St Petersburg company called Internet Research Agency, then just “Internet Research”. It is believed to be one of several firms where trolls are trained and paid to smear Putin’s opponents both at home and internationally.”
“Later, an investigator called Lyudmila Savchuk went undercover at the company and afterwards published her experiences. These included smearing the character of the opposition leader Boris Nemtsov in the days following his murder, and promoting the theory that he was killed by his own friends, rather than by friends of Putin. “I felt the bullets between my own shoulders,” Savchuk said. “I was so upset that I almost gave myself away. But I was 007. I fulfilled my task.” When a Finnish reporter called Jessikka Aro wrote about Internet Research in 2014, she herself became the target of a frightening campaign of threats and smears.”
“As you might expect, many Russian trolls lack a certain polish when posting in English. “I think the whole world is realizing what will be with Ukraine, and only US keep on fuck around because of their great plans are doomed to failure,” one Internet Research employee wrote on a forum. Indeed the Guardian’s own moderators have begun to notice regular clues, especially on articles about Ukraine. “We can look at the suspicious tone of certain users, combined with the date they signed up, the time they post and the subjects they post on,” says one senior moderator. “Zealous pro-separatist comments in broken English claiming to be from western counties are very common.”
“Estimated troops Several thousand.”
“Favorite subjects Putin and Trump being great, the opposition being corrupt, the Nato conspiracy against Russia, the effeminacy of Barack Obama.”
Link to entire 11/6/16 Guardian report: Invasion of the troll armies: ‘Social media where the war goes on ..